A Legend Has Left Us……………and you know that The Recovering Attorney has a personal story to share

Nickolas Ashford one-half of the singing, song writing and just stunningly fantastic duo of Ashford & Simpson, has died.  Nick, the legendary Motown artist passed away in New York City on Monday at the age of 70 from throat cancer.

My all time favorite singing duo, Ashford & Simpson was a prolific song writing team.  Nick and Val (that’s  just how we referred to the two) penned the soundtrack of so many lives:  “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand,” I’m Every Woman,” and their breakout hit of 1966, “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” made popular by Ray Charles.

Nick came to New York City by way of South Carolina, by way of Michigan in the 1960s.  Like the many talented, ambitious artists before him, he found his way to the village of Harlem where at the White Rock Baptist Church he met the love of his life and singing and songwriting partner, Valerie Simpson.  And the rest my Dear Readers is music (and loving relationship) history.

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to experience the music and love that was Ashford & Simpson when I saw them in concert at Radio City Music Hall during their “Solid As A Rock” heyday.

Though Nick and I were never formally introduced, when in passing, Nick was always courteous and a gentleman…….

It was in the late 1980s when I first encountered Nick Ashford on the streets of New York City.  Mr. Recovering Attorney and I (engaged at the time) were zipping up Third Avenue in his brand new champagne colored 300SD Turbo-Diesel Mercedes-Benz.

When stopped at a traffic light on 72nd street, a tall, handsome Black man (with flowing locks) walking a well-groomed, dignified Airedale passed in front of our car.  We did a double take at this suave, put together dude and he in turn glanced into the car of this handsome, put together young couple.  Ha!  We all smiled (Nick actually waved), acknowledging one another’s presence and we kept it moving!

Fast forward a decade.  Mr. Recovering Attorney and I (now happily married), came to know through professional contacts, Nick and Val’s next door neighbors on East 61st.  Nick and Val owned (and still own) the townhouse connected to that of our friends.  When leaving the home of our friends one evening, we again encountered Nick (it was always Nick—never “ran into” Val).  He smiled and we smiled.   And lastly……

In 2007, during the early days of July, Precious Child II and I were strolling down 61st on our way to Bloomies.  I was pointing out to PCII the townhouses of Nick and Val, Bill and Camille and our former business associates—all neighbors on one tree-lined street on the Upper East Side of New York City.  And lo and behold.  Who is coming straight at us wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat, a white tee-shirt, a pair of khakis, REIish sport sandals, carrying a white, nondescript plastic shopping bag?  Why Nick Ashford of course!!!!  Nick smiled, gestured to tip his hat and Nick and I for the third and final time, acknowledged each other’s presence on the streets of New York City.

I send out my condolences to Valerie and his family.  The loss must be unbearable.

*…….and for love’s sake each mistake—-awwww you forgave!………….*

COPYRIGHT 2011.  The Recovering Attorney Un-Blog(tm).  All Rights Reserved.  And I will sue.  Ha!


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